|The Filippella Family|
Our Branch Organist is named Alfredo Fllippella. He is really good. He steps the organ down a key or two so no one has to sing very high. As a result, the bass part is really low – fun though. He adds a few arpeggios and interludes as he plays the hymns. The most interesting thing about Alfredo is that he is not a member of our Church. He has been familiar with our church for many years, but remains with one leg firmly in the Catholic Church and the other in the LDS Church. He also plays the organ for his own parish in Salerno on Sunday evenings. Alfredo and his wife, Sabrina, have two children, their son Fausto Maria who is 10, and their daughter, whose name I just forgot who is 7 I think. Guess I better refresh my memory.
Anyway, for some reason Alfredo and I hit it off as soon as our eyes met the first Sunday we were in Battipaglia. We visited their home in Salerno a week ago Friday and had a wonderful time. The most exciting part of the evening was finding a place to park in Salerno around 6:30 p.m. After touring the neighborhood for a while, we finally found a place to park about a kilometer from his apartment. It had been raining quite hard as we drove into Salerno, but (tender mercy) it stopped as we found the parking place and we had a very pleasant walk to Alfredo’s apartment on Via Raffele Ricci in Salerno.
As we met his family and sat down, he asked if we would offer a prayer, which we humbly did. We then had a great get-acquainted talk and found our all about their family. They then brought out some delicious dolci (cakes, cookies, other pastries, etc.) and some orange Fanta.
We asked him how he came in contact with the Church. He said he was walking along the street one day several years ago and met a young missionary who approached him. As he took the missionary lessons, he kind of liked what he was hearing and went to his parish priest and asked him what he (Alfredo) should do. The priest, surprisingly, said, these must be good people. Go and find out more about them.Alfredo later picked up a book about modern American religions which talks about Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, etc. In he chapter on the Mormons, he read how Brigham Young helped Father Edward Kelly of the Catholic Church obtain clear title to some land for the first Catholic church in Salt Lake City in 1866, (see: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705377107/Mormon-Catholic-tolerance-goes-back-to-Brigham-Young.html?pg=all) when they wanted to build a Cathedral in Salt Lake City. Then how in around 1872, the leaders of the St. George Tabernacle invited Father Lawrence Scanlon to celebrate high mass in their tabernacle. In fact, their choir was ready to sing the necessary parts of the mass in Latin in two weeks. On reading this, Alfredo felt he needed to pay back a debt the Catholic Church had incurred many years ago, so he leaves his wife and two children each Sunday morning to play the organ for the Battipaglia Branch. He will also be playing for Flavia’s baptism this Saturday.
He is truly one of the most spiritual men I know, and one of the most loving. We are introducing his family to genealogy indexing in the near future.